New Mexico Lobos vs. Idaho State Bengals - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Idaho State Bengals (16-15) at New Mexico Lobos (17-15)
College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm (The Pit)
The Line: New Mexico Lobos -16 -- Over/Under: 153.5 See the Latest Odds
The Idaho State Bengals look to make an impact on opening night as they take on the New Mexico Lobos at WisePies Arena.
The Idaho State Bengals shocked the Big Sky Conference by posting their first winning record since 2003 after finishing 16-15 including 11-7 in conference play, which was good for 4th in the Big Sky Conference tournament before being drilled by North Dakota in the quarterfinals by a final score of 83-49. The first challenge for head coach Bill Evans will be replacing his second-leading scorer from the 2015-16 campaign in Clint Nwosuh, who took his 13.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game from last season to the NAIA’s University of Pikeville. Evans did however retain the services of now senior guard Ethan Telfair who led the Bengals with 20.2 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game last season. Also sophomore guard Geno Luzcando returns for his junior season after putting up 14.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season. The Bengals will be in tough however as the Lobos faithful travel in bunches and make every game feel like a home game whenever they can as the Lobos get ready to contend in the Mountain West Conference this season.
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The New Mexico Lobos finished with their 8th winning season in 9 years, albeit a 17-15 pverall record including 10-8 in conference play, good for 4th in the Mountain West Conference Tournament before being bounced in the quarterfinals by the Nevada Wolf Pack by a score of 68-62. The biggest difference roster-wise for the Lobos from last year’s squad may come as a bit of a shock as Cullen Neal decided to transfer to Ole Miss. Why is it a shock? Because his father, Craig Neal, is the coach of the Lobos. Regardless, Neal’s departure leaves a notable hole in the offense as Neal was the third-leading scorer on the Lobos last season averaging 12.3 points per game. However the Lobos are counting their lucky stars that guard Elijah Brown will be returning, as Brown led the MWC with 21.7 points per game last season, leading to his selection on the All-MWC first team and the MWC newcomer of the year award. New Mexico is out to show this year that they are still the cream of the crop in the Mountain West, despite being projected 3rd in the MWC preseason poll.
Idaho State is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs. the MWC while the under is 8-3 in their last 11 road games. New Mexico is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Sky and 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall while the over is 9-4 in their last 13 home games.
This is a hard game to call as Idaho State will have upset on their minds, and New Mexico has the deeper team. However Idaho State has struggled against team from the Mountain West, while New Mexico has feasted on Big Sky opponents.
It’s a steep number to lay, but I’ll have to lay the points with New Mexico.